Scientists will use an ultra-advanced drill to dig 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) deep into Antarctica’s ice, with the goal of learning more about the Earth’s past and where our climate could be going in the future.
The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) unveiled the new drill on Monday. Made of titanium, stainless steel, and aluminium bronze, the 9-meter-long (30-foot-long) drill can survive temperatures of up to -55 degrees Celsius (-67 degrees Fahrenheit). The project will begin in 2021, and it will take about four years to drill the full depth.
“There’s a sharp cutting tip at the end that works a bit like a hole saw and that cuts a plug out of the ice,” said project manager Matt Filipowski. “Then the drill chamber actually holds that section of ice, and then we winch the drill all the way to the top, to the surface, and we take that long cylindrical core out and then start the process all over again.”
The drill will be able to extract about three meters (10 feet) of ice at a time, all to help scientists better understand climate change. It’s no small feat: The drill requires a 500-ton mobile base that will take staff and equipment to a location about 1,200 km (750 miles) from Antarctica’s coast.
“What we’re embarking on over the next few years is to solve one of the last great problems in climate science,” glaciologist Tas van Ommen told the Australian Associated Press.
Essentially, scientists are looking for tiny air bubbles trapped in the ice that will give them a sense of how the climate has changed over the past million or so years. Each air pocket is essentially a time capsule of what the planet was like in the past. If they can chart that change, they can hopefully develop a firmer understanding of how the climate is changing today.
“We want to get that ice, analyze those time capsules ,and understand what [carbon dioxide] did in that period around 1 million years ago when the climate was changing,” van Ommen told the Australian Associated Press.
Something happened about a million years ago that essentially changed the way that ice ages work — the planet moved from having an ice age every 40,000 years to having one every 100,000 years. If scientists can find what marked that change, they might be able to determine what caused it and if we’re undergoing a similar one.
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world marched in a series of climate strikes on Friday. There’s a serious push to stop (or slow) climate change before it’s too late. This kind of Antarctic research might be the key to determining exactly how to do that.
- Scientists find evidence of ancient supernova activity in Antarctic snow
- We’re slowly trapping ourselves under an umbrella of space junk
- Was hellish hothouse Venus once a temperate planet covered in water?
- Japanese probe prepares to return sample of asteroid to Earth
- NASA astronomers think this interstellar comet is carrying alien water
- First Vietnamese to visit Antarctica and her effort to fight climate change
- Indonesia gets U.N. funds to fight climate change, deforestation
- Malian architect fights climate change with digital greenhouse
- Massive meteorite crater found in Western Australia thought to be 100 million years old
- India can be 'global superpower' in fighting climate change: Guterres
- To fight climate change, strand fossil fuel assets, not workers
- Mastodons migrated across extreme distances due to climate change, study says
- Antarctic ice shelves covering four times the area of the UK could COLLAPSE if rising temperatures cause existing cracks to become filled with meltwater - sending global sea levels surging, scientists warn
- Giant Antarctic ice shelves facing fracture risk: study
- Indus Valley Civilisation was wiped out by climate change 3,300 years ago as rising temperatures caused less monsoons which were essential for their way of life, study claims
- Hurricanes, fires, floods and locusts: Science says climate change is here but the RNC refuses to believe
- Bizarre tusked creature that lived in Antarctica 250 million years ago is the first known example of an animal HIBERNATING to survive the winter
- Bering Sea 'has less ice than at any time in the last 5,500 years' due to 'unprecedented' melting caused by climate change, study shows
- The middle-class eco rabble who want to kill off free speech: Extinction Rebellion activists moan their climate change doomsday message isn't being printed on newspaper front pages EVERY DAY...as they block access to national presses
- To my son, born in the time of coronavirus and climate change
- Climate change fuels sharp increase in glacier lakes, says report
- Australia amid climate change is making migrants adapt again
- Climate Change Drove the American Mastodon to Extinction
- Trump Questions Climate Change in Piers Morgan Interview
- U.S. Senate Democrats unveil $400 bln-a-year plan to tackle climate change
How drilling into million-year-old Antarctic ice could help fight climate change have 784 words, post on www.digitaltrends.com at September 23, 2019. This is cached page on Konitono.News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.